A fun first in a series!
New widower Lily Adler returns to society by attending a ball her closest friend, Lady Walter, has set up. Her husbands’ friend also attends, and the two strike up a friendship. During the evening, as Lily is taking a stroll in the Walter’s garden, she overhears a murder. She’s the only semi-witness to the event, yet the police are not interested in having any part. She quickly finds her Lord Walter has bribed them into not investigating, and that breach of trust pushes her and Jack, her husband’s friend, and a new to society heiress, into investigating.
This was a pretty fun first book in a new series. It falls somewhere between historical mystery and cozy mystery for me, as it had a lot of character and setting related material compared to the actual mystery and investigation, but I wasn’t too bothered by it. The pacing was a little weird as there was a lot more exploration into the society world rather than the actual search for the killer, but I thought the conclusion was fun and enjoyed the end of the book a lot.
My only gripe, and I know I’m in the minority on this based on reviews, but man I did not enjoy the character of Jack, the best friend of Lily’s deceased husband. I know they’re likely being set up for a romance in the series, but I found him insufferable. His attitude fits a man in this time period, but he was so whiny and negging the whole time I was over it about halfway through. He definitely cares about Lily and her best interests, but he just was too dour and whiny as a character for me to get excited about reading any more about him. Overall though, a solid 3.5 for me. I would probably pick up the second book just to see how Lily grows as an independent widow.
Title: The Body in the Garden
Author: Katharine Schellman
Three Descriptors: Atmospheric, Well-Crafted, Fun setting,
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